SEVEN FOR YOU ◽ TIPS
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We asked everyone to share what they use for convenience sake, because it's so good and they don't want to part with it. After all, over the past few years, we've all grown accustomed to changes and doing things differently.  These women shared some great ideas! 

We drive A LOT. Really, we drive a ridiculous amount. Our kiddos are in activities all over the greater Austin area and mostly, it's fine. Also, we ourselves have activities all over the greater Austin area. When we go from our home to one activity, it's only about 15 or 20-minutes, but multiply that by three or four times a day and it's a ton of driving we frequently do. So, one splurge that's worth it for me, especially when it's just me and the kids, and at the end of a long day, is to drive on the toll road. I like the idea of driving different routes to avoid the toll roads but it is worth it to get us all home even 10-minutes earlier by driving a toll. 

 

Expensive hand soap is worth it to me. I experience sensitivity in my hands from time to time and I find that the type of hand soap I use has an impact. I do not mind splurging on high-end hand soap when I do the shopping. 

 

Paying for a housekeeper is worth it to me as a busy mom of three. When I'm bogged down with housework, I am grumpy and struggle to be spiritually mature. As I write this, I'm sending an SOS to a new house cleaner and will ask for some help! Having a clean space is so worth the money of paying for help in the house. Interestingly, I also find having help in cleaning the house gives me an emotional lift and I feel more like tidying up. – Jennifer L.

 

When my husband passed away, I reduced everything I could. I dumped cable TV (because I never watched it, but he did). Except for Sirius XM radio. I enjoy it in the car so I continue to pay for it, although I'm really proud of myself for negotiating the price WAY down. 

 

During my working years, I was fortunate to have a house cleaner clean my house two times a month. That brought me such joy and peace of mind. Now, in retirement I'm so blessed to be able to continue this! 

 

Lastly, I don't indulge in many personal things, but I watch YouTube almost exclusively, which of course, is free. I, watch it to learn, laugh, entertain and pass time for myself so I splurge on the $17.99/month no ads YouTube option. Don't judge me… - Debbie

The pandemic and my illness forced one convenience that I now can't stop using. I only use grocery pick up or delivery 99.% of the time. I can't imagine doing a week's worth of grocery shopping in the store now. My parents used to spend hours at the AF base commissary twice a month to buy food for our family of four. They hated the time wasted, the long lines, and the too “peoplely" crowds. The old adage of "time is money" is so true. I have better ways of spending my time these days. – Cathy

 

I love when I find an easier way to do something I don’t enjoy.  I am not a fan of cutting up peppers and onions.  So, I often buy frozen bell peppers, sliced and ready to use.  The same goes for dried or frozen onions.  

 

Clean-up after cooking can also be unpleasant.  I find that pre-cut parchment paper is good to protect baking sheets.  Plus, they offer convenience.   Also, if your assistant baker is very young, it is much easier for him/her to manage the pre-cut pieces rather than the whole roll.

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Another convenience is the disposable crock-pot liner.  I love a crock-pot meal, but clean-up can be daunting without the disposable liner.  – Gina

Plant Nannies (pictured at top of page) are one of my conveniences.  A water-filled inverted wine or soda bottle fills the unglazed terra cotta spike.  The spike is then pushed into the soil of my favorite potted plant.  The plant then draws the water out as needed.  It works wonderfully on my inside plants.  I use it outside as well, but those plants still require supplemental water in a year of normal rainfall.  But…this year everything has been out of sorts and burning up, so not even Plant Nannies were of much help. Don’t purchase an off-brand, as I found they broke and crumbled after one season of use. - Shelley

I’ve had a garlic mincer, a fancy plate that grates the garlic and all sorts of gadgets to peel the garlic – but no more! I buy garlic already minced in a jar, and it’s wonderful.  Easy to get out what I need, and it stores for a LONG time in the fridge. 

 

I often purchase from Mad Dash Mixes for convenient and quick dips, soups and pasta to have on hand in my pantry. Every single one I’ve tried is so tasty.  These also make great gifts!  And they’re awesome to take when traveling, if you have a kitchen in your Airbnb.

 

This might sound odd, but faux succulents/plants are a convenience in my book.  They save on having to water and baby plants and place them near a window, and all that jazz.  I look for ones that look as real as can be, place them where I want them and smile.

 

We belong to a car wash monthly service – its about $19.99 for Wash n Roll and it’s SO nice to be able to wash the car as often as we like for that cost.  If it’s dusty, we roll in.  If we just went through mud, we roll in.  And it’s that fixed price for the entire month! – Marcy

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Using Shipt to deliver goods from Target is my current favorite convenience. I paid a yearly fee (discounted on my first year’s subscription), but I can have most anything sold at Target delivered to my home in an hour! It has saved the day on a number of occasions. A few months back, my husband and I had a country band from Idaho recording in our studio. Several of the band members were big coffee drinkers and brought their own gourmet coffee grounds for brewing. So, before they arrived at the studio for day two of recording, I jumped on Target.com and ordered a small coffee maker, and cute disposable coffee cups (and lids! Oh yes…), and all arrived and were set up in the studio ready to brew fresh coffee before the band arrived. Fabulous business relations thanks to Target.

Another convenience I cherish involves house cleaning. I’m not a fan of cleaning. Honestly, I would rather be doing something (anything, really) else. Cleaning the shower is so low on the list of cleaning jobs. But then I came across the electric cordless Spin Scrubber on Amazon, and it makes cleaning the shower waaaay easier, does a much better job than just me manually, and is a little bit fun to use! Win, win, win!-  Angela

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One of my conveniences is very simple and maybe not much more costly. Instead of using liquid makeup remover I use the makeup remover towelettes. I used to buy special liquid soap for taking off my makeup and used the towelettes for traveling, but then I got lazy and started using them all the time.

Another convenience I have is with chicken when I’m cooking. For us or just our family, I will buy the one-pound packs of already cooked and cut rotisserie chicken. But if I’m cooking for large groups that requires a roaster pan or two full of my chicken spaghetti or another casserole, I won’t do that. I didn’t realize the difference in cost until the beginning of this summer when I cooked for the staff at our local Baptist church camp. I needed about eight pounds of chicken. The already cooked and cut chicken was going to cost me about $96.00 whereas I could cook and cut the same amount myself for about $22.00. I chose the inconvenient way for that occasion.

My third convenience is my Instant Vortex Plus, or Instant Pot. At my age, I really wasn’t ready to learn how to use a new kitchen appliance. My crock pot was still sufficient. But for the shorter amount of time it takes to have food ready, it’s really great. And I’ve decided that anything I can use to cook a full meal and not heat up my kitchen is wonderful. – Carole

My conveniences are in the kitchen. I buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it to add to salads, soups, or pasta. I also buy cut stalks of celery, and cut cauliflower that are ready to use. (I hate all those little pieces of cauliflower that get everywhere when you cut it yourself!) - Beth

I recently started using K pods for coffee instead of brewing a whole pot. As a matter of fact, what I would do is make the one cup while I am pouring the water for the full pot! That way, I can have a cup of coffee before the pot is done. Convenience, at a cost! I also have a housekeeper that I hired to come in once a month for heavy cleaning since I work full-time now – Anita. 

Convenience, Yes
Our Panel of Women